We filled another 28 bottles with our most recent wine kit a White Zinfandel from Vintners reserve. This wine is a excellent during summer, but also works in winter as a Sangria base.
The city water pipe by our tub broke this morning as we were warming up from a low of 6 degrees last night. The repair went smoothly taking about 20 minutes to patch up.
Schloss's book extended my vocabulary and taught me about flavoring agents, types of simple syrups and sugars and how they mingle with booze. It is not a book about making alcohol. I'd call it a mixology book. The information shared is high level. It is about infusing alcohol and turning liquor to liqueur. I appreciate the way the author pairs the recipes to popular corporate made beverages like Bailey's, Sambuca, Tripple Sec and Chambord so that the reader can make homemade versions.
Page after colorful page enticing recipes had me earmarking those I want to try out first: a rum based blueberry cinnamon drink that the author says tastes like Red Hot candy and that I think will make a lovely Valentines Day cocktail, a brandy and vodka based drink flavored with coffee and cacao called Moca, and a caramel cordial with caramelized simple syrup and vanilla.
The only thing I am hesitating over is the addition of 35% to 50% (by volume) of sugar (in the form of simple syrup) that gets added to the liqueur mixes. This seems a fundamental part of liqueur making and I'm wondering if anyone had innovated ways to reduce this?
an issued themed sustainable you. It features The Good Life Lab as a choice for "things we love for putting values to action." I'm flattered, honored and happy to be in good company once again.
This juice was smooth enough to enjoy, but I did have to use 4 apples and 4 oranges to balance out the kale / beet.
My follow on battery charger kit is taking FOREVER to get out the door. I had to break it into three parts for development (power supply, logic board and charger). I've already made the first two parts and written most of the firmware, but now it's time to test the third part (charger). This is the stressful part.
Remember Remember My Wolverine Beard from Movemeber, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
The scary thing about this beard is that I've used a beard trimmer on it twice this month and it's still this long.
As a result of our recent hard freeze the remaining leaves have fallen off our mulberry trees. I started raking them up for our incredibly awesome compost. Juicing 2x a day has made all the difference for our compost smell, heat and turn-around time. Normally it would just stall out on us especially in weather near 20F.
I found a new running route that has been ideal for 15-20 mile distances. First I cross the Rio Grande and head east to Mescal Canyon. One thing nice about that location is that it always has water. Then I turn around and head Southwest to the second largest lake in New Mexico. There are still some super muddy spots, but it is a well maintained jeep road. I snapped a panorama this morning of one of my favorite areas where the trail turns into desert.
This week I received a couple of clues that tell me that I'm in rhythm. The first was my compost. It smells so good it gave me the impulse to taste it. It smells like moist earth on a spring day. Knowing this is the result of my diet, what I'm eating tells me a rhythm is found. I look over to my garden and confirm the suspicion. Small green plants thrive under a canopy made for winter warming.
The second clue came while I was running with Sesame on the south side of the Rio Grande early in the morning.We turned a bend and startled a large flock of ravens nibbling at pecans that had fallen from a stand of three large trees that divided a farm. My mind was in a semi altered state as I'd been running for a good 35 minutes. The birds took flight and when they did I did not see birds at all. I saw holes in the color of the world. I took in the huge fantastic blue sky and yellow white sun that illuminated a stand of trees with orange yellow leaves. A church steeple peeked from the tree's tops and behind it brightly painted water tower popped against the backdrop. The birds broadcast themselves across the scene dotting the sky and giving the appearance that the world of color had holes in it. It took a while for me to realize what I was seeing. It came in stages. After having no words for what I saw, then I named the holes birds, then further clarified the siting by calling them ravens. I took in the black black color of their bodies and was drawn further into the details to notice the shimmer that made their feathers seem wet with oil.
Then my brain turned on all the way and I got to thinking. Everything that I saw just then was true. The color was absent where the birds covered it over. It was also true that they were ravens, had feathers and an oil coat but these details come later. In evolutionary terms this data came with language and acculturated knowledge. The absence of color that I saw was true from the point of view of my being an instinctual, sensory being not dependent on linearity. Since I've been seeking on rhythm I recognized it as evidence that I was on course.
Today I made 40 tamales, this just after making enough veggie burgers to freeze some for deep winter. Yesterday I made cheese and when finished instead of tossing the whey I used it as a douche. Yes that's right all that bacteria is just what's needed to keep a woman's body balance. I loved the completeness of the loop. Today I also mixed spices to make a chai blend that I broke up into tins so that I could gift some to friends. While packing the tamales for freezing I realized that last winter I did none of these things. The book had me too busy. I noticed several other points in time, moments when I broke from my rhythm. "It's all coming together," I thought as I folded another corn husk. The push pull of past and present are now grinding into one another leaving me comfortably in the present.
(image credit: from the Creative Commons stefan klocek)
Nothing special to report about these pumpkin bread muffins Wendy whipped up this morning. They are delicious, but made from your standard faire ingredients.